Exhausted. Depressed. These are the words biotech analysts and investors are using to describe their moods coming out of 2015. Which means this year's JPMorgan Health Care Conference, which kicks off next week, could take on a more muted tone than in previous years.
Thousands of investors, analysts, executives and entrepreneurs head to San Francisco in the second week of January for the conference, considered a barometer of sentiment across the industry as the year gets underway. More than 450 companies are slated to present to investors at the meeting.
"Sentiment will be weary, but not funeralesque," said Les Funtleyder, portfolio manager of E Squared Asset Management and author of the book "Health-Care Investing." "Normally, sentiment is extremely bullish at JPMorgan, but once every few years you get a situation like this."
The situation: a 23 percent decline in biotech stocks from highs in July, driven by concerns over pressure on drug prices, valuations that have been rising for six years, and some stock-crushing clinical trial setbacks toward the end of the year. The Nasdaq biotechnology index sank 9.4 percent this week through Thursday as geopolitical issues weighed on the broader market.